10 December 2012

Gambia: Another 24 Youths Return From Libya

24 young people have returned from Libya on Friday 7th December 2012 via Senegal. These returnees were flown in to Senegal and later provided with a mini bus to come home through Amdallai, a border village in the Gambia.

Readers could recall that 226 young people were also evacuated from Libya sometime in November which was facilitated by the International Organization For Migration (IOM) in consultation with the Government.

It could also be recalled that this is the second largest group of returnees from Libya within two months.

The public relation officer of the Gambia Immigration Department, Superintendent Ensa Jawara revealed the development to the media shortly after the arrival of these young people from Libya. Superintendent Jawara disclosed that this group of young people came with a flight up to Senegal and joined a mini Bus to the Gambia through Amdalai and finally Banjul.

Jawara also discloses that their return to the country was facilitated by the International Organization For Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Gambia government.

The number of returnees from each region are: 1 from Banjul, 7 from Kanifing Municipality, 2 from West Coast region, 3 from lower river region (LRR), 2 from North Bank region (NBR), and 9 from Upper River region (URR) numbering 24 persons. He also indicates that they received these returnees in the early hours of Friday by 4am and took them to the immigration post to scrutinise their documents and go through medical examination. He added that shortly after that they were all handed over to their various family members.

PRO Jawara used this opportunity to caution all that the Gambia government is doing all it could to ensure that Gambians are protected anywhere they are. He said most of the young people were homeless and frustrated in the streets of Libya and were anxious to come back to rejoin their families.

Mr. Jawara said the Gambia government, the Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Gambia Immigration Department in particular are doing all they can to limit the massive movement of the youth especially on illegal journeys. He said the Gambia government is not against the movement of people especially those looking for greener pastures, but they want it to be done in a lawful manner, adding that illegal movement does not give good name to any country . So, the Government is striving to ensure zero percentage of illegal travelling to any country.

He finally said the immigration department, the Ministry of the Interior, and the Ministry of Youth and Sports cannot do it alone; that they need the support of the people of the Gambia to make sure that any journey our people are embarking on is legal and is in the interest of both the nation and themselves. He also called on the religious leaders to include the issue in their in their sermons.

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